With the arrival of Star Wars Rebels, I thought it would be a good time to publish this guest post and look back at the last Star Wars animated series: The Clone Wars. Please comment and love Icarus’ post on TCW. His bio is below, if you would like more info. (My thoughts on Rebels next week)
What can I say about The Clone Wars that hasn’t already been said? Star Wars fans hoped TCW would fill in some critical gaps in the three years between second-trilogy Star Wars films Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith. Bonus if it fixed a few mistakes in the prequels. What we got instead were very uncomplicated story arcs and tastes and teases but not much more depth to the Star Wars ecosystem — InterGalactic Banking Clan anyone — certainly not enough to satisfy the appetite of even the more casual fan.
The series is over but I’m writing this from the perspective of what potential it had at the beginning. To be sure, I tried to binge watch the entire series and found that I could only stand to watch one, maybe two episodes at a time. It was painful to listen to Kabuki theater level dialog overemphasizing the importance of obvious plot devices at the expense of storytelling. That was probably because each episode has to appeal the limited experiences of its kids audience. In every episode you had comically inept droids trying to kill Clone Troopers and vice versa. You have to handle this with a certain delicacy for your young audience. To simultaneously kill bad guys, kill some good guys yet not bring the horrors of war too close to light. TCW had to do this on the small scale while also keeping its eye on the end game, setting up the landscape for ROTS.
You cannot talk about ROTS without talking about Order 66 and how thousands of Jedi were slaughtered by clone troopers without any hesitation or sense of loyalty to their Jedi generals. I could see the droid army following this order more to the letter than the clone one, although given the level of ineptness portrayed by the combat droids, along with the ease with which Jedi Masters Yoda and Windu dispatched them, the number of Jedi actually killed would have been substantially lower.
I’ve always asked myself how could you pull something like this off? Putting aside the logistics of getting word simultaneously to every despot in the galaxy, one thing that bothered me was in the movie, they show every Jedi getting ambushed because they were in a vulnerable position. Yet the Jedi are almost godlike in their awareness and certainly wouldn’t have been just heading into battle as the order came in. While the galaxy’s preeminent mystics/warriors can be caught by surprise, it’s also just as likely the Empire’s spin doctors exaggerated the number of Traitors eliminated under Order 66 with many more Jedi driven into hiding.
Though I haven’t seen it yet, I’m aware of the Fives/Tup arc that almost exposed Order 66 prematurely. I’m probably way off on this but I suspect that arc serves to demonstrate that while moving toward complete domination of the Republic, Chancellor Palpatine wasn’t quite there yet and there is always the slim hope of a few people being in the right place at the right time
What are your thoughts on Order 66 and the clone troopers?